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  1. #1
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    First hammock purchase...differences in fabric, width

    Hello. I received a ton of help in a previous post and have looked at more options. Now I'm interested in learning more about how hammock width and fabric might affect my comfort and sleep. I've never even layed in one before. I don't know my lay preference. I'm 5'11", 160-170 pounds, and am interested in using this for backpacking. At home I like to sleep on my side and stomach. I would like to find a good balance between weight and comfort.

    I suppose my searches have led me to Dutchware Chameleon (or wide), Half-Zipped (or wide), or a Dream Hammock Darien.

    The standard Dutchware hammocks are 58" wide and the wide hammocks are 68" wide. I would be inclined to get the 1.6 fabric as the consensus seems to indicate this is more comfortable. The following are my options as I see them (and not wanting to wait for a custom hammock).

    ----------
    Chameleon with sym bugnet is 20.7 ounces and the wide version is 22.0 ounces.

    Half Zip (sym bugnet) comes to 19.0 ounces and wide version is 20.1 ounces. So roughly 2 ounces lighter than Chameleon.

    Now Dream Hammock has three ready to ship Dariens and this is where I am a bit nervous.

    1.6 HD and 58" wide - 17.05 oz
    1.3 MTN (wide) and 64" wide - 15.90 oz
    1.7 MTN (wide) and 72" wide - 19.50 oz

    All three are asymmetrical
    --------------

    I know this is all very SUBJECTIVE, but I can't really tell what makes a more comfortable sleep. I think I would like a stiffer base to sleep on. I have no idea about width. I hear good things about wider hammocks but I also hear people think 58" is plenty for sub 6 foot people.

    I'm definitely interested in the three Darien options. Does anyone know why they are so much lighter than the Dutchware options. I tried to keep this comparison as apples to apples as I could and kept out suspension and extras. Does anyone have experience with that 1.3 fabric. The hammock is very light and seems to be a compromise between a very wide hammock and a standard width hammock.

    I know I'm fretting a lot about this. It's hard to pick something out without being able to try it out.

  2. #2
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    I did a video on hammock fabrics in layman's terms. Might give some insight.

    Shug



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  3. #3
    Treehopper's Avatar
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    The 1.6 and 1.7 will have similar support. For me personally, I think both of these fabrics would be a good choice for a side sleeper. As you get to the lighter fabrics (1.0 for example) they start to have more stretch. I have a 1.0 chameleon and sleep on my side and stomach but much prefer a heavier option.

    As for width, it truly is a personal preference and you probably won’t know that until your second hammock. 58 is a great starting width. I am 6,1 and while my 58 in fits me well, I prefer a slightly larger width of 64 to get a more diagonal lay. Being sub 6 ft, If you go too wide, you risk having wasted fabric that you won’t use. This is especially true with a symmetrical hammock.

    More important than your fabric choice, will be to determine what lay you prefer. If you can, try to meet up with someone that has a hammock. It could even be a cheap eno or amazon hammock. Most cheap hammocks are symmetrical so you could try both lay directions. Ideally you would want to get a nights sleep in it, but in reality, you should be able to tell fairly quickly which direction you prefer.

    I would not buy an ASYM hammock if you don’t know which direction you like to lay.

    Dutch would be the only exception to that rule, because the ASYM bugnet he makes can be reversed for either a left or right lay.

    Hope this helps.


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  4. #4
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    One thing to keep in mind about Dariens is that they are asym so you need to know and specify your preference. And it's nigh impossible to know unless you've "test-driven" a good hammock.

    The very general consensus is that people who are right-handed prefer to lay head left and vice versa. HOWEVER, there are many, many exceptions to this, and I am one of those right-handed folks who strongly prefers head right. Recently my niece and her husband tried out a couple of my netless symmetrical hammocks just to see what they prefer, and they're also right-handed and tried head left but strongly preferred head right.

    And the designation of left and right lay can be confusing. "Right lay" means head left and "Left lay" means head right. Many websites now spell it out with "head right/feet left" but there are still some that use "Right lay/Left lay" and I came really close to making that mistake when I ordered my first custom hammock.
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter, Instagram

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  5. #5
    cmc4free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    The very general consensus is that people who are right-handed prefer to lay head left and vice versa. HOWEVER, there are many, many exceptions to this, and I am one of those right-handed folks who strongly prefers head right.
    +1 for the Backwards Bunch.

    I am extra-backwards in that I also prefer ingress/egress on the head side.
    Last edited by cmc4free; 08-03-2020 at 09:12.

  6. #6
    Treehopper's Avatar
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    To answer your question about the varying weights. It all comes down to options and fabrics.

    1.3/1.6/1.7 etc stand for the oz per sq yard of fabric which is a big factor the weight. The other main difference is the zipper. Chameleons have two zippers (one on each side) while the Darien only has one. Dutch also has lots of d rings throughout the hammock body for use with other add ons that he sells.

    Here are some great resources to understand more about the fabrics.

    https://ripstopbytheroll.zendesk.com...bile_site=true




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  7. #7
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc4free View Post
    +1 for the Backwards Bunch.

    I am extra-backwards in that I also prefer ingress/egress on the head side.
    That's a good point... I also prefer right side entry (and therefore zipper right for integrated net)

    Some really screwed up bass ackwards people around here, LOL!
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter, Instagram

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  8. #8
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    I have the Darien 1.7 at 72" wide. I'm 6'1" 205. Very comfortable fabric and firm enough for me to be comfortable. I do feel like it is a bit too wide for the way I lay and would in hindsight opt for a slightly narrower cut. I tend to have extra fabric that needs to be tied out or it flops in on me.

    I had a Chameleon in the 1.0. My daughter just ripped it. (Apparently three teenagers side by side, yes I still love her.)
    I'm shopping for a new Chameleon body now and think I will go with the wide 68" in the 1.6.

    Given your size/ weight, I think you have been given good advise above and that either the first two Dariens would be great. I don't know if you need the wide in the Chameleon. Lots of bells and whistles on the Chameleon. How gram sensitive are you? I'm not that sensitive since I'm not pounding out huge milage, so the couple ounces extra aren't a problem.

    Good luck with your purchase. New gear is so much fun.

  9. #9

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    Not an expert but I have about the same weight and height. Personally I like wide hammocks, but I didn't know that (or my lay direction) without trying others out. Had an eno doublenest and didn't like how flappy the extra width was, and I wanted something more streamlined. Got myself some standard width 1.6 hyperd (very soft and comfortable, this is the fabric I'd recommend) and it just felt too narrow for the likes of me. I made this hammock myself, which is easy, so it was not a hard lesson. Got some 2.2oz hex70 xl which is plenty wide and I love it. Turns out I like low stretch. Not as soft as hyperd. If I were to buy another fabric I would seriously consider the 1.6oz HyperD XL.

    Eh, so basically I thought I hated wide and through trial and error realized I liked it. And I was wrong about my first guess regarding lay direction as well. You should get a "cheap" netless hammock to find out- probably by building your own so you won't get stuck with a crappy hammock. Ripstop by the roll sells kits for about $25 depending on the fabric.
    Last edited by bearito; 08-06-2020 at 13:10.

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